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Interview: Kojo Opoku Aidoo discusses HaB on Radio Univers in Ghana

3 November 2017

Subject: Humanities across Borders: Asia and Africa in the World As a part of the Interrogating Africa series by the Institute of African Studies in the University of Ghana, Kojo Opuku Aidoo had the chance to discuss the HaB project, the encyclopedic university and his idea of the grassroots pan-Africanism. Interrogating Africa is a weekly radio series that has run since 2013 through which faculty share their research with the community.

Date: October 26th 2017
nterviewee: Kojo Opoku Aidoo
Interviewer: Radio Univers Location: University of Ghana
Length: 51:06

The full interview is available here. Some excerpts below:

[36.40] The pan African kingdom that we seek to bring about, that we teach in universities, where we simply look at pan African conferences, state-to-state engagements, are ignoring these rather important but ignored, imagined tendencies and trends...

[38.33] My own pan African dream is being shaped differently by looking at these people who have lived here. Some of them are voting, some of them have married, some of them have stayed here because they have nowhere else to go, some of them have even forgotten about their roots. To me, that's pan-African living...

[39.50] In the Togo-Benin border where we went, we were surprised. The only legal tender in Togo is the Cfa. But people are doing business by accepting every currency. The police are turning a blind eye. The state is ignoring them. We wanted to find out why. For the traders, it is good to sell in all the currencies. But how do they come every morning and know the exchange rate? Because some of them don't even speak French or English... People are talking about West African currency in 2020 but if you go to the border, people are already using all the currencies - there's a pan-African currency already there... To me, it's important to interrogate these things that have been there for years.